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Member postings for James Alford

Here is a list of all the postings James Alford has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: TOPIC VARIETY
20/02/2021 15:45:40
Posted by Hopper on 20/02/2021 09:32:25:
Posted by James Alford on 20/02/2021 09:19:52:

"I suppose that is one of the things with this site covering Model Engineer as well as Model Engineer's workshop as it covers a much more diverse subject matter."

Is the "Model Engineer's workshop" another forum as well as another magazine?

Regards,

James.

No. And that's where the confusion can creep in. This forum is called Model Engineer but covers both magazines. As it works out, much of the forum content relates to the "Engineers Workshop" part rather than the "Model" part. That is why there are many threads on machine tools, both the choice and restoration thereof, and workshop practices in general. There are plenty of prolific model builders on here but also plenty of restorers of old cars, bikes, trains, steam engines, ships and the like along with tinkerers in general.

Thank you. That explains why I could not find it.

20/02/2021 09:19:52

"I suppose that is one of the things with this site covering Model Engineer as well as Model Engineer's workshop as it covers a much more diverse subject matter."

Is the "Model Engineer's workshop" another forum as well as another magazine?

Regards,

James.

Thread: Coat Hanger wire?
12/02/2021 07:20:07

Knitting needles, depending upon length needed? They come in all sorts of sizes, are rigid and have do not seem to be affected by a damp atmosphere. I have a tub of them which I use as picks and "things". I bought a large bundle from the charity shop for next to nothing. Obviously, these are currently shut, but e-bay or Gumtree might have some.

Regards,

James.

Thread: 00 Gauge Live Steam Locomotives
07/02/2021 09:13:48
Posted by Bazyle on 06/02/2021 13:39:08:
Posted by James Alford on 04/02/2021 22:51:23:

I have joined the OOlivesteam site, but it seems to be all about Hornby products, rather than steam per se..

Try raising the subject on that forum. They probably only concentrate on the Hornby because that is what is available to non-ME types and would appreciate opening up other possibilites.

James - if you join the 16mm Association yu can get to lots of other people's tracks and meet more modellers which is half the attraction for many. Also an increasing number of ME clubs are building smaller gauge tracks. At SADMES we have a G0 and G1 track build plan awaiting the end of restrictions.

Edited By Bazyle on 06/02/2021 15:58:29

I confess that I had not considered joining the 16mm Association. Also, your comment about your SADMES club prompted me to look at the local VAMES club, which I had half-forgotten about. They have a large site at a steam preservation centre nearby and have gauge G and 0 gauge tracks, as well as 7 ¼”, 5” and 3 ½” gauges.

James.

05/02/2021 22:10:11

Good evening, Will,

Thank you for your reply and for the information, which is just what I was hoping to find. I would greatly appreciate any pictures which you may be able to post.

One year, I should like to build a steam locomotive. Much as a 3 1/2" or similar engine has an appeal, the cost is a major consideration. Smaller engines using 0 gauge track have an appeal (I have a Mamod narrow gauge engine already), but the track is very dear. Something using 00 track appeals because of the cost of track, the small size appeals in itself and it would be well within the scope of my small lathe.

Regards,

James.

04/02/2021 22:51:23

Thank you for all of the information. I have found some information about AA Sherwood's engines which is interesting. I have joined the OOlivesteam site, but it seems to be all about Hornby products, rather than steam per se.

I shall have a look at the rest of the suggestions as well.

Regards,

James.

04/02/2021 08:12:44

Alan,

Thank you fo rthe link. I cannot work out whether that group is just about Hornby models or 00 gauge steam in general. However, I have signed up to find out. I shall update this thread when my application has been approved.

Regards,

James.

04/02/2021 07:27:32

I have seen a few 00 gauge live steam locomotives on YouTube recently; models which are not the commercial Hornby products, but seemingly home built.

Purely out of curiosity, I should like to see either some plans for such small models or a build log for one. It must be quite precision modelling. Sadly, I have not been able to find anything. Does anyone know of any such plans, web sites or videoes?

Regards,

James.

Thread: Collet runout. Is this normal
29/01/2021 07:39:59

How does your collet chuck attach to the backplate? Mine are held together with three bolts. When I first tested the run out on a tool held in the collet, there was a fair bit of run out (I cannot recall how much). I found that the three bolts securing the two components were tightened to different amounts, creating the run out. Careful adjustment of the tightness of these bolts reduced the run out substantially and gave repeatable results.

James.

Thread: Poor websites
27/01/2021 07:25:45

A friend of mine runs his own manufacturing business. His website lists all of his products, along with pictures, but he offers no on-line ordering. He considered it, but finds that demand for his products varies widely, some being ordered once in a blue moon, others fairly regularly. Having on-line ordering would need him to spend a lot longer maintaining stock records on the website and holding larger stocks of products which may not sell quickly enough to make justify the investment. Relying on customers ringing or e-mailing means that he can respond to demand more quickly and avoid costly investment in products which do not sell.

Regards,

James.

Thread: Silverline long reach air tool for Top/Crosslide mounting
20/01/2021 21:32:01

Leaving aside how well either will work as planned, I have used both a cheap Silverline die grinder and a comparably priced US Pro tool. I found the US Pro die grinder was much more effective, needing less air, but still having plenty of power. A friend uses the US Pro die grinders in his business restoring cars and finds them to last well.

Regards,

James.

Thread: Flexispeed meteor-II lathe Cross-Slide / lead-screwspecs.
20/01/2021 07:27:55

Just to underline the inconsistency with threads on the Flexispeed Meteor: I have two lead screws which have the same number of TPI, but have different thread forms. One is quite square in section, whereas the other is much more triangular. Similalry, I have a spare cross slide and the gib screws are not interchangeable between the spare and the slide on the machine.

Regards,

James.

Thread: Choice of Flux for Soldering Fine Mesh
18/01/2021 07:20:23

Thank you, both, for the suggestions and advice. I shall try some of the "Orange Flux" instead of the plumbers' flux which I have been using.

Regards,

James.

17/01/2021 18:12:07

I am soldering some fine brass mesh to some steel frames. I have been using a white paste flux from B&Q and washing it off to avoid the flux turning the mesh green. This then means that I need to thoroughly warm and dry the thing afterwards to avoid the frame rusting.

Can anyone recommend a flux which could be used and which would not need washing off and would not corrode the mesh?

Regards,

James.

Thread: Difficulty Operating Solenoids with an Arduino Uno
03/01/2021 20:14:06
Posted by duncan webster on 03/01/2021 18:14:45:

PO type 36 was a Hipp clock, so nothing like as noisy as a Synchronome. Confusion arises because the GPO owned the design (I think) but had them made by several manufacturers, Gents included

PO36

Type 46 was similar but had 1/2 second pendulum, much rarer

That takes me back, somewhat.

03/01/2021 10:30:17

John,

Like you, I worked in the old Strowger exchanges in the later years, moving into "traffic" in 1986. They were noisy places. I am sure that my hearing was dulled by the constant racket.

This is the type of solenoid Lifting Solenoids which I plan to use. I bought one from e-Bay as an experiment and have found someone in this country selling five more unwanted solenoids for a very reasonable price.

Regards,

James.

03/01/2021 09:30:33
Posted by John Haine on 02/01/2021 10:44:54:

Thanks James, so the relays are just representing the solenoids?

I don't know if you're familiar with the old Synchronome clock which used an electromagnet driven ratchet motor to operate the dial impulsing every 30 s with a very audible clunk. In the case of the observatory version it clunks every second, and every 30s too. Also the master clock clunks every 30s as the impulse is delivered to the pendulum. In my version of the Synchronome the original EM drive to the dial was instantly vetoed by the domestic authority because of the noise, so I converted the dial mech to use a small stepper motor instead to drive the minute hand. The dial is now virtually silent in operation.

This might be a point to consider - stepper motors can be cheaper than solenoids and at "clock" speeds virtually silent.

John,

I confess that I have used relay and solenoid loosely. Originally, I was going to use realys, but then looked at the type of solenoid which has a sliding plunger to push or pull the mechanism. My wife's comments when I had it running with just one such solenoid made it clear that alternatives would be needed due to the noise. I have now settled on the type of solenoid which is just a round electro-magnet without any form of plunger or arm. I propose to design and build a mechanism which retains a tiny air gap between the face of the magnet and the activating arm to avoid noise.

I toyed with the idea of stepper motors, but I really like to the idea of a clock with lots of levers and arms rocking away. It might all prove to be unworkable, but I shall give it a go.

We used to have synchronised electro-mechanical clocks at the telephone exchanges where I worked. I cannot recall the make or any details, other than that they were not exactly silent.

Regards,

James.

02/01/2021 09:56:06
Posted by John Haine on 01/01/2021 11:21:15:
Posted by James Alford on 01/01/2021 10:05:35:

Just a quick update. Thank you for all of the advice and help.

I have replaced the BC547 transistors with the 2N2222 type. It is all working as designed now. The next step is to put it all in a box, along with the Arduino Uno, the RTC, digital display and the relays and make sure that it runs properly for a prolonged period.

Assuming that it works as hoped, the next stage is to build a mechanical clock for the relays to operate.

Regards,

James.

James, maybe a silly question, but presumably the relays will supply some sort of solenoids in the clock, in which case why not drive the solenoids directly from the transistors? What did you have in mind for the clock?

To put it in perspective the clock I described here uses a converted quartz movement as a display driven directly from the Arduino pins via a 270 ohm resistor.

John.

I am a way off from starting the clock itself as I am still vacillating over the design. However, I have programmed six pins on the Uno to operate at different intervals. One will operate each second, one each minute and one each hour. A fourth will be used to strike the quarter hours, a fifth to chime the hours and the last one will mark the days. I have used a RTC to ensure that it keeps proper time and it has a LCD display to check the time.

Mechanically, there will be a lifting solenoid connected as the load on each transistor. This solenoid will pull a lever which will advance the hands, strike the hours, ring the chimes and mark the day appropriately. This stage is well in the future still.

Regards,

James.

02/01/2021 09:17:50
Posted by pete hammond on 01/01/2021 13:52:54:

Hello James (Sorry to others for thread drift)

Thought I was an isolated island of madness! (Near The New Zealand)

Although partly written tongue in cheek I really am looking for a box about the size of an AVO or slightly larger - think desk top PC as maximum although experience of actual PC cases is -never quite suitable..

But for COVID and my shed is COLD I would welcome you for a coffee now - hopefully sooner rather than later!

Pete

I have sent yo a private message.

James.

01/01/2021 13:08:00
Posted by pete hammond on 01/01/2021 11:06:16:

This thread means another AVO,(now considered 'valuable' asset?) will sit on a shelf even longer- pre Christmas I had eyed up the old and dusty AVO for the cases potential to house a 180 v DC power supply for a CNC machine - a 2021 project - and recycling at its best!

Downside suitable project box now required at minimal £s and 'currently ' no car boot sales or autojumbles to shop at. full of goodies I can't 'resist'! I really find trips to the 'local dump' quite challenging so many things I could rebuild/modify or just put on a shelf!

Any alternative suggestions/donations/swaps (Watts) out there? That needs a new 'ohm' Near Aylesbury/deliverable in tier 4 times.

Happy New Year and keep safe

From 'Two AVO's ' Pete

What size box do you need? I have a few odd things spare and am in Aylesbury

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